Thirty years ago, counsellor Alan McGinnis wrote a book about confidence, offering 12 rules to build self-confidence, change one’s self-concept, and “succeed at being yourself.” The book contains excellent ideas to abandon useless and hurtful concepts about our identity as human beings.
In 2005 I began offering to the Brazilian brotherhood a seminar called “Total Transformation,” because I observed that many were not reaching the fullness of life in Christ that the Scriptures call us to.
McGinnis’s book deals with his subject from a psychological perspective. Our work concentrated its attention on the spiritual realities of our creation by God, our redemption in Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
McGinnis sought to change one’s self-concept, a worthy project. But what God does goes much further. He transfers us from our state of darkness to a new life under the guidance and government of his Son.
He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, Col 1.13-14.
The kingdom of God requires one hundred percent of our effort. God does not accept a half-hearted effort. But everything is possible because of what God does in us, for us, and through us. (See Eph 4.6.) It is “his divine power” that gives us—and has already bestowed upon us—”everything necessary” for a life of godliness, that is, to be able to serve God according to his will, 2 Pet 1.3.
Over the next several weeks, our Sunday messages in the Urbanova congregation will focus on the text of 2 Peter 1.3-11, as we examine “The Good Additions” that we all need to make in our life in Christ.
Yesterday, we established that these additions and the change in mentality occur because God is acting. He has transferred us into his kingdom. (I am speaking about Christians; those who have not yet entered into Christ need to go here.) God has transformed our situation. He rescued us, giving us forgiveness of sins. He has made us his children and the people of his exclusive ownership, Jn 1.12; 1 Pet 2.9-10.
Our self-concept now is based upon what God does, and still will do, for us.
- His act of creation already established the great value that we have in his eyes.
- The sacrifice of Christ on the cross proclaims how much we are precious to him.
- The indwelling of his Spirit (and of all the Godhead) fills us with divine confidence and with power from on high.
For this change of self-concept to occur and for our confidence level to soar, several things are needed:
- We need to constantly read and meditate on Scripture, so that these truths may be ever more present in our hearts.
- We need to pray without ceasing, so that the entirety of our life may be opened to the Lord’s work.
- We need the constant fellowship of the congregation of the faithful, so that fraternal love may confirm in us God’s divine love.
The change that God offers us remains unshaken before all the attacks of the evil one, all the criticisms and persecutions of our enemies, and all the stumbles, deceptions, and sadness that we encounter daily.
There is no greater confidence that this.